A worldwide industry leader known for welcoming and accommodating guests has awarded Western Nevada College and its Carson City business partners a grant to offer hospitality certification workshops.
Hilton Worldwide has allocated a $5,000 Travel and Purpose Action Grant to WNC and key local partners — the Hampton Inn & Suites Carson City, and the Carson Valley Inn, Carson City Chamber of Commerce and Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. The grant will help fund a public workshop for American Hotel and Lodging Association certification Friday, Oct. 18, at the Hampton Inn. Additionally, the Carson Valley Inn will provide a session to its own employees.
“Linda Barnett and the Hampton Inn have been instrumental in attaining the grant from the Hilton Corporation,” said David Steiger, WNC director of Economic Development. “Their efforts, combined with additional contributions from the Carson City Hampton Inn and the Carson Valley Inn, will give the WNC Hospitality Program a great head start.”
WNC and its partners were among 260 applicants for the grant.
Ronni Hannaman, executive director at the Chamber of Commerce, said the group approached WNC about creating a committee to enhance the local hospitality and tourism industries.
“The hospitality and tourism industry has been to some degree overlooked for a while in the community,” she said. “We believe that the tourism industry could be given a higher priority.”
WNC has been collaborating with local business leaders to provide training to resort, hotel and restaurant employees. It also aims to offer those seeking jobs the necessary skills and credentialing for employment.
“We’re seeing a lot of interest in a hospitality program,” Steiger said. “The participation of the chambers of commerce and industry members is a big plus.”
Barnett, director of operations for Eagle Hospitality & Adventures in Carson City and the instructor for the public workshop, said there has been a need for training workers in the hospitality industry for some time.
“Over the past few years, despite the high unemployment rate, many businesses realized that there was a lack of trained and qualified hospitality professionals ready to hire,” Barnett said.
The public workshop session will be from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Hampton Inn & Suites. The cost is $39, which includes AH&LA certification.
Bill Chernock, executive director of the Carson Valley Chamber, will lead the CVI workshop Oct. 3. It includes a certification exam for CVI employees.
Additional AH&LA programs, ranging from 40 to 180 hours and including certifications, will be offered.